ESSEX seamer Sam Cook hopes his stunning start to the season can enhance the chances of earning an England call-up.

Cook finished Essex’s win at Nottinghamshire with match figures of 10 for 73.

And he will not let his international aspirations interfere with his club form.

“I’m desperate to play for England and hopefully that performance is something towards that but I’m trying to concentrate on playing for Essex and enjoying taking wickets for Essex,” said Cook.

“In the past I’ve probably been guilty of chasing it a bit too much and getting caught up in that, but in the last six months I’ve tried to go back to basics and concentrate on what I do well.”

Cook certainly did well against Nottinghamshire as he helped Essex win their opening County Championship clash of the season by 254 runs.

And the 26-year-old feels the win has sent out an early message to the rest of the division.

“I think we’ve made a statement as a team in the way we achieved the win,” said Cook.

“It was a game that ebbed and flowed and could have gone either way.

“The way the last day unfolded doesn’t really reflect the first three days of the game, in which the sides were pretty evenly matched.

“But the way we were so ruthless says a lot about how we want to go about our cricket.”

And Cook also thought it showed the mentality of the side.

“It showed the character of the team in that there were a few times in the game where we were up against it but in the last few years we have won a lot of red ball games from positions we didn’t look like doing and that is something we have prided ourselves on,” said Cook.

“From a personal point of view, I am pretty chuffed with the way the ball has come out this week too.”

Cook took 4/59 in the first innings and 6/14 in the second to earn praise from head coach Anthony McGrath.

“Sam Cook has been Mr Consistent ever since he came into the side in 2017, taking wicket after wicket in all different conditions,” said McGrath.

“Some people have said he couldn’t bowl with a Kookaburra and I think that performance puts that argument to bed.”

And McGrath also believes Cook has the quality to line up for England.

“I think England’s best bowlers over the last how many years have been Broad and Anderson,” explained McGrath.

“Obviously they are legends of the game but in the last couple of years they have not had blistering pace.

“They’ve just been metronomic in what they do, highly skilled in swing and seam and Sam has that in abundance.

“I think he’s quick enough, I’ve said it before.

“You saw out there that not many other bowlers got as much out of the pitch as he did, particularly in that second innings when he was absolutely relentless and bowled some magic deliveries. “He stands the seam up and if you hit the seam regularly enough it is going to do something, plus he hits the pitch hard and he’s a bit quicker than a lot of people think.”